New Opportunities For Indian Entrepreneurs: Bringing Team Members To The US


Expanding your business globally and seeking venture capital funding can be an exciting endeavor. As an entrepreneur based in India, you may want to consider setting up your company in the United States to access the thriving tech ecosystem and investor opportunities. In this edition of “Ask Sophie,” we will explore how you can bring your team members to the US while keeping your operations in India linked to it.

Key Takeaway:

International founders are increasingly looking to the United States, particularly Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and New York, for market access, venture capital, and talent acquisition. Working with an immigration attorney and a corporate attorney is crucial to understanding the best visa and green card options for your specific situation and long-term goals.

Setting Up for Success

To set up your company for success in the US, it is recommended to work with an immigration attorney and a corporate attorney. An immigration attorney will help you determine the best visa and green card options based on your specific circumstances. A corporate attorney can assist in structuring your US entity to make it attractive to investors.

Most US investors prefer that your US company is a Delaware C corporation, serving as the parent company, while your Indian company acts as the subsidiary. This structure ensures compliance with US legal requirements and sets a solid foundation for investor confidence.

Building a Strong Relationship Between US and India Operations

The relationship between your US and India operations can be established through two visa options:

1. L-1A Visa for Intracompany Transferees

If you have been working for your company in India for at least one year, you may qualify for an L-1A visa. This visa allows you, as an executive or manager, to open an office in the US for your company. The L-1A visa also offers a direct path to a green card through the EB-1C category for multinational transferee executives or managers.

2. Treaty Investor (E-2) Visa

If you are from a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US, you may be eligible for an E-2 visa. This visa allows individuals to enter and work in the US based on substantial investments they have made in a US business. While India does not currently have an E-2 treaty with the US, some entrepreneurs explore the option of obtaining citizenship in a country that does have an E-2 treaty, such as Grenada or Turkey, before applying for an E-2 visa.

It’s important to note that if you were born in India (or China), there are significant backlogs for green cards based on country of birth. Therefore, considering your long-term green card strategy early on is crucial.

Seizing Opportunities in the US

Moving your business to the US can offer significant advantages, including access to a larger market, a vibrant startup ecosystem, and numerous funding opportunities. By working closely with immigration and corporate attorneys, you can navigate the complexities of visa and green card options, ensuring a smooth transition for your team members and the growth of your company.

Remember, expanding internationally is a complex process, but with careful planning and the right guidance, you can successfully bring your team members to the US and position your company for long-term success.

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